I'm working on growing in Living soil

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Where the magic begins. As I am an avid gardener I have been growing my own compost for top dressing my gardens for many years. More than 30. And I’d like to share my experience with other outdoor gardeners that would enjoy growing more on the organic side and have the ability to compost.

This is where the magic begins.
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Creating living soil. No Vermiculite. No expanded rock. No coconut husk or man made ingredients. Just table scraps, Grass clippings and ground up leaves. Coffee grounds tea bags egg shells and what ever else I can find to throw in there to feed my worms. The more ground up the leaves are the faster they break down so I mulch them with the mower before bagging and putting them away until I need them.

As growing is now legal where I live, I have been growing outdoors for a couple of years and I love Main lining my plants. I also only grow top colas. Once the plant shows signs of flowering I defoliate the plant, Everything off the stalks and sup stalks bellow the cola forming on top of each branch. I do not allow buds to form or grow on the sides of my stocks. None.
When you start a compost bin, worms naturally come up from the ground beneath to feed on the decaying mass in the bin. They breed inside your bins and before long if you continue to feed them you will have a bin full of natural worm castings on the bottom and thousand of living worms in the top layers of decaying matter. I mix these worm castings with Hardwood Wood chips, Grass clippings, ground up leaves top soil and sand sheep dung on the ground then add the mix to next years pot. In this case, next years pot is ½ of a 55 gallon drum. I fill the pot 1/3 full then give it 2 big scoops of living worms and decaying vegetation from just bellow the surface of a working compost bin. Then fill the bin with the potting mix I created above. The worms get busy and do there thing as any green matter degrades and the big blue flower pot becomes a natural super food for growing my plants in next year.

I also add a table spoon full of Un sulphored Molasses and a table spoon of un pasteurized apple cider vinegar in a watering can of rain water to feed microbes and bacteria in the living soil until next season when I plant a seedling. Then plant sweet clover on top. And feed once a week with finely ground or blended green matter / worm food.

Lets talk about water.

Growing large plants requires water. And city water is not good for a bio diverse setup like I am talking about. They add Chlorine and other chemicals to to water in order to kill all bacteria, fungus and microbes in the water. If you water with it you will kill off everything you are trying to grow so it’s down to well water or rain water. I collect rain water and store it in 55 gallon drums. Each down spout at the house has a topless collection and dipping barrel. They are plumed under ground to 8 more 55 gallon holding barrels. Plus 3 more topless dipping drums, totaling 700 gallons of rain water when they are full in the spring. I can then dip a watering can in a dipping drum located in each garden only a few steps from my plants. A pretty handy setup on a year with little rain or when growing in unpasteurized soil like I am doing.
I love mainlining so I start my plants indoors mid winter under LED lights in small pots so I have time to work on them. After 6 nodes I top just bellow the 4th and let the 2 new stalks grow for 3 nodes before low stress training / pinching them between my fingers until I feel them squish and gently bending them down. Then use Hooks made from paper clips to hold them in place.
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Choosing when to top each branch from now on. The plant will produce nodes that end up horizontal when growing. And others that end up vertically. clip just past horizontal nodes. Then go back to the last vertical node. Leave the top leaf and shoot. Remove the bottom / underside leaf and shoot closest to the ground. Do this for all branches every time you clip a horizontal node to create another Y. In time you will have many many main stalks tied down to the pot. Each will have several shoots growing up from them. I keep topping until the end of June. I drill the rim of the pot for tie downs. I use tent stakes what ever I can find to hold the outer branches down so there is room for the inner branches shooting up the middle. June 1st. I defoliate the bottom 1/3 of the plant. I leave all the vertical shoots growing but defoliate each and every stock on the plant 1/3 of the way up each stock.
Then let the plant grow wild until the 2nd week of August when buds are beginning to form. You will end up with a monster. Each of the branches will have grown sub branches off the side.
Leave the sub branches on the stalks, but defoliate the entire plant. Everything goon up to the bottom of the top cola forming on each branch and sub branch. There will be hundreds of them. Leave only leaves growing out of the forming top colas. Do not leave any buds forming on the sides of any stalks be it main or sub stalk. And keep it that way threw out the rest of the plants blooming cycle.
Removing all the leaves opens the plant up so light can get into the center of the plant and ripen colas forming on center branches and on sub branches. Rather than having them shaded and growing popcorn.
On a large plant this requires sitting down for an hour every other evening and clipping buds off the stalks. All leaves and all bud that start forming on the sides of any stalks must come off and be kept off until harvest. Your plant will produce hundreds of medium size super sugary top colas that are easy to trim, dry, jar and cure. This will be simply the best bud you ever grown.
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